What do I really need to show off the long-awaited abdominal? How long can I get a six-pack? Where do I begin? Well, you’ve reached the right place, because in this post I want to tell you everything. No lies, no magic recipes. So you don’t waste your time unnecessarily and reach your goal sooner. From an honest source and with the right knowledge is how things are achieved. You have already taken the first step: you have the motivation to look for the information you need and you have reached us. Now it’s time to read and then put into practice what you’re going to learn here!
The first thing I want to make clear is that wearing your abs is a purely aesthetic issue. You can be perfectly healthy and functional. However, we understand that we all love to look on the beach and the pool and sometimes we seek to take our physical form one step further. There’s nothing wrong. The defined abs have drawn attention since childhood because all our favorite superheroes had them. Getting them to see each other is much easier than people think. As I say, it is more a matter of having adequate knowledge and consistency for a few months. Let us begin!
If you’re here, let me intuit that right now you probably don’t mark your abdomen. You would like to see yourself defined but you don’t know where to start. The first step is to determine why your abdomen is undefined or “marked” and that may be due to several reasons.
WHAT REASONS I DO NOT SEE THE MARKED ABDOMINALS?
1-You have to reduce abdominal fat: and this is only achieved by reducing the percentage of total body fat in your body. We cannot decide which part of our body we eliminate fat. Our fat reserves are progressively spent from all our deposits (we lose fat from the face, legs, arms, etc.). By burning fat in a general way, we will also reduce what interests us: abdominal fat.
Now, how much fat do we have to burn? In boys, the abdominals appear visible when their percentage of total body fat approaches 12% or 10%.
Marking abdominals is not simply losing weight. It is not going from being overweight to being thin or fit but it goes beyond. It is to bring your fat levels below average. To give you an idea, most men you see on the street have between 15% and 20% body fat. A healthy and adequate fat level but that is not enough to discover. For example, a boy of 1.80 m and 75 kg of weight with six visible packs (at 10% fat) would have to have only 7.5 kg of fat in his body.
We usually underestimate the amount of fat we have in the body. Even if you look thin, you should know that the majority of average men with a normal lifestyle may need to lose between 8 and 10 kg of fat until their abdomen is well sculpted.
In girls, the abdomen is marked at around 15% body fat. This is because women distribute fat differently to men and biologically they need more reserves.
Now you know that the number one reason they don’t see you is that there is possibly fat covering them.
2-The other case is when you are thin and even your body fat percentage is low. You look flat but still, your abs are not chiseled or drawn. Do not panic! In this case, what happens is that you lack abdominal development. You need to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen. This is usually the typical case of people who are thin but in turn very untrained. The abdomen, like any other muscle in the body, requires work and movement so that it can gain size, density, and strength. The good thing is that this muscle, as soon as you start exercising, immediately responds well. Rare is the athlete of any discipline that does not have strong abs.
Surely you have heard the famous phrase “the abs are made in the kitchen”, and although we consider that reducing fat through diet is very important, we also believe that you have to have strong and developed muscles to show once we remove that fat.
Ideally, we should do both: reduce abdominal fat as well as exercises to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen. In this guide, you will learn what we consider to be the best machines and exercises to work your abs. You can also use Amazon promo codes to get amazing discounts buying exercise machines for your abs. We will divide the content into three parts:
1-Recommended abdominal machines.
2-Ideal exercises to sculpt the abs.
3-How to reduce your fat percentage to show them.
MACHINES TO MAKE ABDOMINALS
Look here for effective and defined abs. Surely you want to know what is the best machine that can work the abs. We are going to detail which ones we recommend, making a distinction between those that you can find in a commercial gym and those that you can use at home.
If you are aiming at a gym, you will surely find one of the following machines.
MACHINE CRUNCH: I recommend this one for being simple and effective. You just have to sit in the seat, grab the manners and make the shrinks. The interesting thing is that you can add weight progressively. The muscle grows when exposed to overload and the abs are no exception. It can be used by anyone. They are usually very safe machines and work the entire abdominal rectum.
The machine crunch exercise can be performed on plate loading devices or in its version of weight discs.
MACHINE OF OBLIQUE ABDOMINALS: any that allows making waist turns. There are even plate loading to add more resistance to the exercise. Strengthen the lateral area of the abdomen. The so-called oblique’s.
ABDOMINAL: the ideal support for free form shrinkage/crunches. You can find it in any commercial gym. They incorporate support to keep the legs fixed and to be able to raise the torso safely. They mainly work the muscles of the upper abdomen. The intensity of this exercise can be increased by grabbing a disc against the chest while performing the shrinkage.
LOWER ABDOMINALS IN FUNDS / DOMINATED MACHINE: Surely you will have seen it in many gyms. It is a machine to do free exercises with body weight (such as a chest or dominated bottoms). The interesting thing is that they usually incorporate a padded backrest to rest the back and armrests with hand grips. In this way it allows you to make shrugs of legs and knees from a very comfortable position. It is one of the exercises that I recommend for being one of the most effective in strengthening the lower abdomen. It can be done by bending the knees or with straight legs (being much more difficult).
FRONT ABDOMINALS: This type of machine is also articulated. It has a handgrip and it moves with each shrink or crunch we make. In this way, it makes the exercise more comfortable and achieves a movement similar to that of machine crunch.
LUMBAR ABDOMINAL: we include them because the lumbar back is the antagonist muscle of the abdominal rectum. If you work one should not neglect the work of the other. We recommend that for each series of abs you make your corresponding series of lumbar.
Perform hyperextension. Avoid muscle decompensations! It is important that the strength of the abdominal and lumbar rectum is well balanced. Lumbar banks can be straight or inclined.
Other abdominal appliances and accessories that are also highly recommended for home use/home training.
ABDOMINAL WHEEL / AB WHEEL: an exercise more than recommended. It is done by grabbing this special wheel. To do it:
-It starts from the initial position of knees on the floor.
-We extend the whole body forward as if we wanted to make iron, extending the arms as much as possible. We seek to take the wheel as far as possible from the body.
-Once we are fully stretched, we go back to the starting position, bringing the wheel back to our knees.
For beginners, it is not necessary to extend the arms at all. Only as far as it can go.
Advanced users can perform the exercise starting from standing up, being a much more complicated variant.
The wheel strengthens the abdomen but also all the muscles of the body such as the back and arms.
FITBALL AND BOSU BALLS: Very typical of gymnastics and functional training. These accessories are also frequently used in collective classes. They allow us to realize all types of shrinks and diverse movements. The interesting thing about working with these accessories is that they not only strengthen the abdominal muscles but also the stabilizers, thus improving our balance.
MATS: it is essential to have some of these to perform simple movements on the ground. As torso shrinks to exercise the upper area or leg elevations for lower abdominals.
MEDICINAL BALLS: very useful also to do crunches with weight and exercises as a couple.
THE TRX: the famous suspension training straps used by United States Marines. Among the exercises you can do with them are static irons, shrinks, suspended leg lifts, etc. Very useful and valid for training anywhere.
Now you can choose a machine that can work your abs. In the part below, we will explain some basic exercises and others not so well known so that you finish strengthening your six-pack.
SCULPT YOUR ABDOMINALS
Apart from the aforementioned machines, the most basic way to exercise the abdominal core is through free exercises performed with our own body weight.
SHRINKS / GROUND CRUNCHES: the simplest for the upper area. On a mat or mat, we keep the knees bent and the soles of the feet, buttocks, back, and back of the head stuck to the floor. We lift the torso by means of a shrinking movement with the abdomen and try to bring the head towards the knees.
The hands can remain on both sides of the head or crossed in the chest.
It is advisable to catch the air when lowering the torso and expel it when climbing.
It is important to mentally focus the work on the abdomen. We avoid performing the movement using the neck or lower back.
This exercise can be done on a trellis with a board if we have it.
LEG ELEVATIONS FOR LOWER ABDOMINALS: for the lower zone, the most basic movement is leg lifts on the floor. On a mat or mat, place yourself on your back, keeping the back of the head, back, arms and legs in contact with the floor. Hands can be placed behind the buttocks if desired. We can keep our eyes towards the tips of our feet. We take in air and take off the legs off the ground raising them as much as our flexibility allows keeping them straight. We expel the air when rising. We lower our legs slowly and in a controlled way, feeling the work in the lower abdomen. We make sure that they don’t touch the ground in the lowest part of the movement before starting the next repetition.
This exercise can also be performed on a trellis with a board, to give a greater inclination.
SHRINKS / CRUNCHES IN THE SOIL FOR OBLICUOS: they are made exactly the same as normal shrinks on the ground, but this time we try to bring the torso to the left or right knee in each repetition. Locate the work on the side of the core.
VERY EFFECTIVE AND LESS KNOWN MOVEMENTS:
LEG ELEVATIONS FROM HANGED: this is one of my favorites and I recommend it 100%, although it requires a certain level of experience.
You must hang yourself, for example, from a pull-up bar and remain suspended. You will have to catch air and push your legs up as close to the torso as possible. We expel the air when rising.
You can do it with your knees bent (easier) or with your legs straight (harder).
It is an excellent exercise to strengthen the muscles, especially affecting the lower abdominals.
FULL CONTACT ABDOMINALS: this is another of the best exercises, widely used in contact/wrestling training. To do so you only need a weight bar with a disc.
One end of the bar is placed on the ground, and we grab the other end where the disc is placed.
We start with our hands up, grabbing the bar above our head, and bring the end to our hip with a waist twist. On the left side of the hip and on the right, successively.
This complete exercise works the entire rectus abdominis and is a great enhancer of core strength.
We can use heavier discs as we progress.
SIDE FLEXION OF THE TORSO WITH MANCUERNA (FOR OBLIQUES): to do this exercise we must separate the legs to the width of the shoulders and leave them somewhat bent. With one hand we have to hold a dumbbell and on the other hand we place it behind the head or on the hip. That would be the starting position.
We take air. Then, while releasing it, we contract our abdomen by a movement of flexion of the trunk to the side where we do not have the dumbbell.
We return in a controlled way to the initial position to repeat another repetition.
We do one side first and then the other.
We try to locate the work in the oblique, avoiding unnecessary impulses. We do not tilt the trunk forward or backward.
The muscles of the oblique and complete abdominal rectum are mainly worked.
We can increase the difficulty of this exercise by performing it on a BOSU BALL. This way it will cost us more to balance.
HYPOPRESSIVE AND STATIC ABDOMINALS:
This post would be incomplete if we do not talk about oppressive and static abs. Conventional machines and exercises that have been going very well to strengthen the muscles of the six-pack.
However, what we are going to see now is the great forgotten in core training. Hypopressants and static are very important, as they have the function of keeping the abdominal core well attached to the spine.
Having the abdominal girdle well fixed to the spine will prevent injuries when performing other exercises, as our own abs will act as a protective belt. We will also greatly improve our body posture. And aesthetically, our belly will look flatter.
Although from outside we only see the outside of our abdominal core (the squares), inside we also have abdominal muscles responsible for keeping the core stuck and stable.
Not training them can cause an imbalance and even an aesthetic result that is not expected (that your abs are off the hook in the form of a “belly”).
To correct or avoid it, always perform exercises like the ones you will see below:
ABDOMINAL VACUUM TECHNIQUE: you will appreciate doing this simple exercise every day, which will not take you more than 5 minutes. But your abdominal wall will become much stronger and your abdomen will look flatter.
1-Start with your arms as seen in the photo (you can lean on something if you want). Take a breath and keep your abs in.
2-Now, mentally you will have to concentrate on putting the abs in and up while you release the air. Hold the position for 30 seconds (every 5 seconds, you have to refocus and tighten your abdomen in and up as much as you can. This will prevent you from relaxing your muscles during the exhalation of air).
3-Make about 5 sets of 30 seconds every day.
This exercise can also be done sitting (even driving or working in the office).
With this exercise, you will maintain a strong abdominal wall, reduce a centimeter of the waist and your belly will look flatter. Frequently perform these hypopressive abs.
LA PLANCHA: it is a static exercise, widely used in the army. Easy to perform at home.
1-You just have to place yourself supporting the toes and forearms on the floor, with the body completely straight, as in the photo.
2-We take air and keep the abdomen tucked in and tight.
3-With each exhalation of the air we metalize to push our abdomen up keeping the body straight.
4-We hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
We can perform several series of this exercise. We can increase the time we maintain the iron posture to progress in the exercise.
Perform iron frequently also strengthen your abdominal wall, improve your posture and will have a flat stomach and defined.
MUSCLE EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN ABDOMINAL MUSCLES:
One of the best ways to develop a strong core is performing abdominal strength exercises with free weights. The abdomen works and is strengthened with most bodybuilding exercises since it is responsible for maintaining the correct and compact posture during execution.
Here are some examples of the best exercises that strengthen the abdomen secondarily:
-FLEXIONS / FUNDS.
– FOOT BICEPS CURL.
-PRESS MILITARY FOOT.
-REME WITH BAR.
REDUCE ABDOMINAL FAT:
Rather it would reduce body fat since abdominal fat will not go away unless we burn fat in general from all parts of the body.
Assuming that you have gone to the gym and have used for some time the machines that we have recommended above, or have trained at home with the exercises that we have proposed. After a few months you should already have a strong and well-formed abdominal core. If you still do not see your abs, it is because there is fat that is covering them.
In this case, the only thing you need to do is reduce body fat until the belly fat leaves and then uncover those abs that you have worked with.
HOW DO I REDUCE MY BODY FAT?
Well, the natural way to do it is to spend more calories than ingested over time. This has been proven and supported by the scientific community: the evidence tells us that when the body is deprived of part of the calories it needs to perform its daily functions and activities, it will take stored fat stores for energy.
Now, how can we cause this caloric expenditure so that our body begins to consume fat stores? Well, there are only two ways:
1-Hypocaloric diet: you can reduce the calories you consume through the diet. Eat clean and natural foods. The less processed the better. Progressively reduce the amount of food consumed throughout the day and check month by month if you are losing weight. If you lose weight and your waist measures less, it’s that you are doing well. Always try to ensure that the diet is balanced and includes everything since a hypocaloric diet is usually restrictive and we will feel lacking in energy until we get used to it.
What happens if I want to mark my abs but I don’t want to diet? In that case, you will have to increase your physical activity and exercise to cause that caloric expenditure. The ideal is to combine both, but if you eat the same thing regularly and increase your level of activity, in the end, your body will end up turning to fat reserves due to that extra caloric requirement that has not been covered with food.
2-Activity / physical exercise: increase the amount of exercise you do to force the body to spend calories. It can be any sport in which you have to move. Walk to the sites, run, jump rope, boxing, etc.
Walk 1 hour daily every day of the week, and after 3-4 months you will have significantly reduced your body fat levels.
HOW LONG CAN I MARK MY ABDOMINALS?
It is not a single answer question. It will vary from one person to another depending on their genetics and circumstances. We estimate that for an average male the time is usually about 3 months of diet or exercise (or both) to mark the six-pack.
But, as we explained at the beginning, this is putting as an example a person who is already at his ideal weight or just a few kgs above (20% fat, for example).
For people with significant overweight, this process will obviously last much longer than those 3 months. In these cases, it is best to first remove all excess fat until you are at your ideal weight. Then take a break from the diet. And then, if you still have the desire and motivation, continue eliminating the remaining fat until you mark the six-pack.
DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE MUSCLE EXERCISES:
Something that many people do not take into account, especially if they had never tried to mark the abs before … is that this process usually involves staying at a fairly low body weight. Especially if you did not have a certain muscle base under fat, which is usually the case with many people.
Fat takes up a lot of space and also weighs. In other words, to lose fat we will have to lose bodyweight.
As we mentioned at the beginning, an average man with 20% fat, probably has to lose 8-10 kg of weight to have well-defined abs.
We tend to underestimate the amount of real fat we have. That’s the reality.
Achieving the coveted six-pack, and especially if we didn’t have a good overall muscle base, means getting pretty thin. At least if it is done naturally (without doping substances).
Hence the importance of including bodybuilding exercises during this process. You don’t have to go to the gym necessarily. But at least you should do some exercises at home with dumbbells, do push-ups, chin-ups, squats … So that when we reach that 10-12% body fat, at least we have some muscle tone in the chest, arms, back, shoulders and legs. Thus avoiding giving a visual appearance of being too thin.
HOW TO FINISH DRYING THE “LOWER ABDOMINALS”?
This is really difficult. Bringing out the first 4 abdominals is already a consequence of having an acceptably low level of fat.
The lower part of the belly is the most complicated, as we tend to accumulate fat there. It is said that the fat in that area is the first to arrive and the last to leave.
In the end, keeping the caloric deficit for long enough, all fat is eliminated, even the rebel.
Uncovering the upper abdominal area is already having excellent fitness. To discover the bottom, you will require some more dedication and perseverance. Normally that area only appears visible once we are below 10 or 9% body fat. And below those levels is when we will begin to see ourselves too thin, even losing muscle.
It is not something easy to do. My advice? Do not become obsessed with the lower abdomen. Unless you go to compete as a bodybuilder or similar cases. Being obsessed with losing absolutely all body fat can become health hazards and psychological wear.
Selena is a blogger and a guest contributor for a well-known brand that includes MESHEBLE. In her leisure time, she plays tennis.